Get a Glimpse of This Wonderfully-Entertaining Book – a Few Sample Stories to Wet Your Appetite
Eat Your Heart Out Donald Trump!
Hardly a day goes by when some neophyte doesn’t try to partake of my financial wisdom. Let’s see, there are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, The Donald and The David. There aren’t too many of us left. The Carnegies, the Rockefellers, and the Mellons have left their fortunes to unworthy off-springs, so we are carrying the torch in today’s world. Of the four, only Trump and Sahud have devoted most of our talents toward real estate.
Donald and I made our entrance to the Atlantic City market at about the same time. He pushed to buy the new Hilton Hotel on the Bay, because one of the Hilton directors was found to be on the “Unacceptable List” of the NJ Gambling Commission. It turned out to be a distress sale and Donald was right on the spot. I, on the other hand, being of higher ethical standards, did not choose to be the beneficiary of ill-gotten cost advantages. I bought a new three-bedroom condo right on the beach in Brigantine (just over a small bridge from Atlantic City) for list price. Those were the early days of Atlantic City gambling, and there was no doubt that real estate values were going to soar. I was convinced that I had made a brilliant investment, while Trump was struggling to salvage a fledgling hotel. Read Full Story…
It Made All The Difference
I was a typical thirteen year old brat with the full complement of indolence, rudeness, sloppiness, and aversion to baths and showers. In fact my single mother farmed me out to my father, when we moved back from Florida, hoping he would make a “Man” out of me. I can’t help but think that this must have been “Pay-Back” time for the vitriolic divorce five years previously.
Dad, who knew even less about raising a son than he knew about building a fire hydrant, thought that all he had to do to make a “Man” out of me was to plan a Bar Mitzvah, since the prepared speech usually includes “Today I am a man”. He suffered his first major filial rejection when I spent the critical after-school hours playing baseball instead of showing up for Hebrew school. So, on my proud day, I was forced to read the Torah passage using lumpy phonetics, instead of smooth Hebrew. Despite my poor pronunciation and abysmal sing-song rhythm, I because a “Man” in the Jewish faith.
Having deluded himself into thinking I was now a “Man”, Dad now set about trying to give me an air of culture and signed me up for piano lessons. This resulted in our next clash of egos. I preferred to either play baseball of hang out at Yankee Stadium collecting autographs and talking to the players. Little did I know that Dad’s sudden proclivity for culture was enhanced by the fact that dear old Dad was “Schtupping” Florence, the old maid piano teacher. Read Full Story…
World War I was started by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. World War II was triggered by the Japanese bombing attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. No one can dispute that these events are of major historical significance.
But history books will never record the saber-rattling in Palm Beach County when some well-meaning retiree utters the inflammatory phrase: ………..“Let’s get together for dinner.”First there is the planning meeting which must be similar to those held in the White House. An eavesdropper might hear such phrases as “The food there is lousy….and such small portions “ or “The chef was on vacation that night,” or “It’s OK ; if you stay away from the bread.”
Finding agreement shouldn’t be such an onerous task. But this is Florida! And retirees, with full schedules of doctor’s visits, shopping and returning, and gossiping in the shallow part of the pool, quake with fear about selecting the wrong restaurants… Before retirement, we averaged 27 mistakes a week between our jobs and home lives .Now, going to the wrong restaurant is raised to the equivalence of a surgeon amputating the wrong leg. And Florida restaurants have exploited the bad food market to the fullest, with their tasteless or foul tasting offerings. Read Full Story…
I Vote My Conscience!
I have been exposed to war heroes, who have brilliantly described their exploits in India, the European Theater, Korea and other parts of the world. To me, they have displayed courage and good memories. Until now, I have withheld discussing my military accomplishments; because I am completely overshadowed by those who served. But shouldn’t people like me, who exploited their cowardice successfully, get some credit also? Remember, the National Guard was our last line of defense. Not every wartime experience involved places like Guadalcanal, Korea, Sicily, Anzio, etc. etc. We served as goalies in the war to protect Miami (from the submarines), New York City (from blackouts) and the Westminster Kennel Club (from rabies).
I had never had any military experience, until I went to the 71st Regiment Armory on 34th Street and Park Avenue in dangerous New York City during the Korean War. I had phoned two friends, Walter and Maynard, and said, “Why don’t we volunteer for the National Guard, either to avoid the draft or to serve in other ways?” They both agreed with my artful draft dodging and wanted to join me. Read Full Story…
Just Bitching and Moaning
Living beings are composed of molecules, which are broken down to atoms and, ultimately electrons, protons, and neutrons. The fact is we are all a bunch of charged and neutral particles floating around in some prescribed order. According to Albert Einstein, matter and energy are regarded as equivalent and related to the speed of light. Since we all consist of energy particles – what on God’s green earth makes women so darn superior? Are their particles travelling faster than the speed of light?
Wives seem to excel in the phenomenon of shopping (or more accurately looking, looking, looking, looking… and buying and returning). Most husbands, charged with driving the New York to Florida round trip once a year, are anxious to reach their destination in the shortest possible time. This is particularly true as we get older and find driving more stressful. However, the generic wife, who rarely worries about her husband’s stress level, plans the trip according to the location of outlet malls, in which the same stores repeat themselves all along route 95. The trip must be arranged for the CFO (Chief Feminine Officer) to buy clothing in her favorite stores. But, she will always change her mind about the size, color, or style when she arrives at the hotel. Thus she returns the item or items to the store of the same chain in the very next mall. She then repeats the routine with the same stores, in the next mall, etc. etc. The old axiom that “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line” doesn’t apply to the feminine logic. It should be rephrased as “The distance between two Liz Claiborne Stores doesn’t matter, as long as we get there before closing time”. Read Full Story…
Messiah or Marshmallow?
I can’t believe that I actually felt miniscule tinges of remorse as I watched the story of Saddam Hussein’s execution on television. It certainly isn’t because I was one of his fans. It isn’t because he refused to put on the black hood (I don’t look well in black either). We all know that he was a tyrant to executed thousands of Iraqi citizens for no rhyme or reason. So what is wrong with me? It is not out of charity that I would have preferred to see him rot in a cage. Maybe we could have eventually learned something useful about our enemies.
This leads me to a superficial self-analysis; superficial because I write fiction and lie a lot. I conclude that I really do not have a capacity for hating. Of course, I get angry and disappointed. But the feelings do not last very long. And seeing people suffer causes me angst. Death rips my insides apart. My feelings lean more towards forgiveness than revenge. Does that make me a softie, or simply “too good to be true”? Read Full Story…
Move Over, Robin Cook
“HELP! They are going to kill me. I know all their secrets!” This was not what I expected, when I shuffled through the drab green hallway of Good Samaritan Hospital, for my first visit to Judy in the recovery room. Weaning her off the breathing tube was not easy because of her emphysema and I feared for her state of mind. As I approached her bed, she grabbed my arm and whispered, “We’ve got to get out of here or they will kill both of us.”
Our daughter Julie rushed in just in time to hear those words. Judy signaled her to come closer and spoke in her ear: “I will tell you all about it as soon as they bring me into a regular room.” Julie, who had no patience for “cliffhangers,” said, and not in sotto voice “Why can’t you tell us now?”
Judy clenched her teeth and started shaking “Now you have done it! Now they’ll have to kill all of us to keep their secret!”
Three weeks previously, a routine X-Ray exam showed a cloud in Judy’s right lung. A CATSCAN detected a node and a PETSCAN (Positive Emission Tomography) confirmed a malignancy, through uptake levels of radioactive glucose. Read Full Story…
The Adventures of Marco Sahud
My Philosophy that I’d rather be a live coward than a dead hero took a beating when we planned a trip to China Oh yes, it was on an upscale Crystal Cruise, But they are merely purveyors of service and …… I wanted my mommy!
The guidebooks warned about possible health problems, e.g. “The changes in climate and time zones and the unfamiliar food and drink can all combine to upset your metabolism when traveling in China.“ (My metabolism gets upset when I shave!)
“Avoid raw food, like shellfish, unpeeled fruit, washed peeled fruit and fruit peels, and ice cream, drinks chilled with ice-cubes and other un-bottled or locally bottled drinks. Drink mineral water instead of tap water”. (But first ascertain whether the mineral water is really tap water in a pretty bottle?”
“Cleanliness is the best protection against falling sick, so wash your hands frequently, rinsing them and changing the water and take your own lavatory paper with you”. (Hint: There is no immunization from the inert holes called Eastern toilets). A complete physical was suggested before departure (Done: and the doctor thought I was off my rocker) and one should carry a thermometer, scissors (for emergency brain surgery), tweezers (to pluck strange insects from our orifices), cotton wool (to stuff our orifices), bandages (to hide mortal wounds), antiseptic cream (to bathe in), something for constipation or diarrhea (you can take your choice when you get there), painkillers (like Morphine drip), travel sickness pills, sticking plasters (to hold body parts together), cardiac stimulants, sun cream and insect repellant. (None of the guide books suggested that I pack my portable iron lung). Read Full Story…
What’s in a Name?
The name Sahud has been with me for a long time; approximately since the day I was born. I don’t understand why people find it so confusing. Why there must be hundreds of New York Jews of Russian heritage with Arabic names, who love Italians – in Wanaque Reserve alone. Why all the fuss? For years my wife was bombarded by the question “What is the origin of your name?”
She always answered, “My grandmother was born in England and my grandfather was born in Poland”. It took a while to convince her that nobody gives a damn about her maiden name (Levy); they are only interested in her married name (Sahud).
The simple answer that our family came from Odessa in the Ukraine was usually followed by, “But Sahud isn’t a Russian name”.
That got me thinking. Where did this silly name come from? Are my family members the only Sahuds in the world? Was Grandma raped by marauding Arab nomads? I heard that our name might have originally been SAUD, with the H added by the usually confused immigration officers at Ellis Island. If that were true I would have heard from my Saudi relatives by now (or at least a goat for Christmas).
In high school, the legend under my yearbook picture read, “Though on the subject he’s had kiddin, friendly Dave’s no kin to Ibn.” It’s true that the Life Magazine cover picture of King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia looked exactly like my Great Uncle Moses. But don’t all Semites look alike? Read Full Story…